We encourage students who find topics, either in the Junior Seminar or in other courses, that they wish to pursue independently to consider an honors project. The projects themselves might take a range of formats, from a traditional written thesis, to a film, a website or an exhibit. Each project will have a written analytical component in addition to any other product.
Honors projects begin in the Honors Seminar taken in the second semester of the junior year during which students prepare a project proposal and find an advisor. The Honors Seminar (offered from Spring 2012 forward) will focus on methodology and the research process and introduce students to a range of possibilities for forms of presentation. Students deciding not to do an honors concentration after completing the honors seminar will receive credit for the course and be able to count it as a seminar in the concentration.
The Department recommends that prospective thesis writers in the Class of 2012 contract with a faculty member to do a directed reading during the second semester of the junior year in order to define a topic and research question and complete a thesis prospectus.
Concentrators studying abroad during the second semester of the junior year may waive the Honors Seminar with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to the beginning of the senior year. Such a waiver of the Honors Seminar will be predicated on the submission of a detailed plan for the honors project approved by a faculty director and submitted to the DUS in the first two weeks of the senior year.
The honors project itself is completed over two semesters in the senior year, directed by a faculty member assisted who is by a reader. The reader can be a member of the Brown faculty or a community member with particular expertise. The director will meet regularly with the student, consult with the reader, and assess the project for the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Honors graduates will publicly present their projects before graduation.